U.N. nuclear ban treaty to take effect Jan. 22

Kyodo News

Posted at Oct 25 2020 08:15 AM | Updated as of Oct 25 2020 11:45 AM

NEW YORK - The U.N.-adopted nuclear ban treaty will enter into force on Jan. 22 with a required threshold of 50 ratifications achieved, a nongovernmental anti-nuclear organization said Saturday.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted in 2017, will become the first international norm outlawing the development, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons.

The pact will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries and regions. Honduras was the latest country to complete the ratification procedure, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, known as ICAN.

"The big moment is finally here: the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) just reached the 50 ratifications needed for entry into force," ICAN hailed the development in a statement.

"With the treaty now ready to enter into force, everything will change, but our work is not done," the statement said, pledging to "make sure the treaty lives up to its full potential."

Although it will not be able to legally require nuclear power states to get rid of their arsenals, the launch of the world's first treaty banning nuclear weapons is likely to gain global momentum toward reducing stockpiles.

But some experts have questioned the effectiveness of the nuclear ban treaty as it does not involve any of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, all of which are nuclear power states.

The United States has reportedly pressured some of the signatories as part of its opposition to the pact.

Other nuclear weapon states -- India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea -- do not join the treaty.

Japan, the only country to have suffered the devastation of atomic bombings, has decided not to sign the treaty in consideration of its security ties with the United States.

Survivors of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with others are calling for the Japanese government to ratify the pact.

"In countries that have not joined, it is up to us to make sure that companies, governments and people know that nuclear weapons are illegal and that they need to stand on the right side of history," ICAN said in the statement.

==Kyodo

Watch more in iWantTFC